This scared the stranger, who back-pedalled across the porch and fell backwards down the steps.
Gosh. I laughed and laughed and laughed.
I love dreams like that, don’t you?
But it went on.
As it happened, my friend with whom I chatted then changed into a woman puttering in the garden shed, and I learned that she was the sister of my high-school pal Dexter Plumlee. What a surprise!
(In my actual life, during high school, Dexter worked with me at the A&P Grocery Store, and later he went to a different college and became a chemist, and then worked in the U.S. Bureau of Mines, for my Uncle Richard, who actually did the early smog research in Los Angeles. Why was a department of mines doing chemical engineering? Well, that’s another story.)
So in the dream, I asked her to call Dexter, because she said he was a bass player now, and he was playing a gig here in town. So she made a call, and then looking up the street from my back porch I saw my friend Dexter come jogging up the street. He looked exactly the same except for an additional 45 years of wear and weathering. It was great to see him again, and then I woke up because my dog Daisy stuck her nose on my neck.
Over coffee with Adrienne, I learned that she’d dreamed that Mary Beth Burrows, the always-tidily-dressed manager at our bank, was sitting in a cafeteria at the local Humane Society, and that Mary Beth had taken Kim, the shelter manager into another room, from which everyone in the cafeteria could hear Kim crying and Mary Beth shouting angrily. Adrienne and Bette Midler and everyone in the cafeteria rolled their eyes.
So Adrienne asked Eric Clapton why Mary Beth had been so calm all morning at her desk, and then was so wild in dressing-down Kim. Eric nodded.
“Mary Beth had some other things to do first,” he said.
There you have it. The latest news from the unconscious psyches at our house.
And now to the point.
Adrienne pointed to our little dog Charlie, who was snoozing after his breakfast on the couch.
“He reminds me of a five-year-old boy,” she said. “I had girls, but my friends with boys just had to drag them out of bed in the morning. Sometimes they arrived at school with pajamas still on, and their mothers trying to dress them in the car.”
“My girls were no problem,” she continued, “The key is party shoes.” (By this she means those shiny shoes that were called ‘patent-leather’ shoes by little girls when I grew up.)
“I got my girls party shoes,” she said, “and they nearly wore them to bed. They’d get up and wanted to put on those party shoes. And to do that they had to dress. Then they’d clean the party shoes with vaseline, to make them extra shiny. And then off to school.”
“My girls” she said, “where probably the only ones who got to wear party shoes to school. But I’d learned the secret to getting them to school. Party shoes.”
Mothers of young girls, you heard it here first.